1.5 hours Round Trip
Spectacular slickrock formations highlight this wonderful hike to a couple of the most impressive arches in the Moab area. The smooth sandstone terraces that are traversed enroute to the arches are quite beautiful on their own right, and make the entire length of this hike a visual feast. The smooth erosional design of Corona Arch, which has a sculpted appearance, is breathtaking. It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for such an impressive arch. I highly recommend this hike to anyone visiting the Moab area.
Drive north from Moab on Main Street (U.S. 191) until you come to Potash Road, which is located about 4 miles north of town. Turn left on Potash Road and continue down the road for about 10 miles. Watch for the Corona Arch trailhead sign on the right side of the road and pull into the parking area.
The trail starts at the parking area and quickly ascends a rather steep slope. This initial climb is the only semi-strenuous part of the hike, and it’s not bad at all. The majority of this trail is on slickrock, and is well marked with rock cairns right up until Corona and Bowtie arches become visible. The only section of this trail that some people may be uncomfortable with is a very short segment, near the end of the hike, that ascends a very steep area of smooth slickrock. This section has a series of footholds cut into it, along with a length of cable to hold on to. I wouldn’t have even thought that this section was worth special note, however during our hike we passed a woman who simply would not go past this point. Therefore, if you suffer from acrophobia, this segment could be a problem.
Bowtie and Corona arches are adjacent to each other. You can walk beneath each of them, however Bowtie Arch is located high up on the edge of a cliff, about 100 feet above the trail. It is a "pothole arch", formed when a pothole on the cliff-rim broke through and continued to erode into the lovely, well rounded arch we see today.
In my opinion, Corona Arch is one of the most spectacular arches in Red Rock Country. Some folks like to call it "Little Rainbow Bridge" because it resembles a scaled down version of the well known Rainbow Bridge. However, I think it’s an injustice to use the word "little" when referring to this arch because it’s huge! A small airplane could easily fly through this massive arch. To me, the arch strongly resembles a solar flare arching out of the solar corona. I assume that’s where the name came from, but I am not certain of its origin.